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    James Polk Autograph Letter Signed as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Tennessee. Two pages, 8" x 10", Columbia, Tennessee, August 20, 1834. Ten years before his election as the eleventh president, James Polk writes to Peter Hagner, Third Auditor, Treasury Department, in Washington concerning the request of the wife of a U.S. soldier, uncertain whether or not her husband is dead. In part:

    "The widow of Ambrose Witt states that her husband enlisted in the year 1813 in the army of the U. States for the term of five years. She states that he enlisted in Rowan County, North Carolina in Capt. Hartin's company who belonged to Col. Wilburn's Regiment, and she remembers that one of the Majors of the Regiment was named Taylor. She states that her husband was marched with the troops to the North, and she thinks but is not certain a different Captain whose name she does not remember. She received letters from him for about two years, and since then has heard nothing of him or from him, and supposes he must have died in the service. She requests me to ascertain whether the rolls in the War Department will show the fact of his death and whether she and his children are entitled to Bounty land, or the half pay pension provided by law, and if so what proof must be made to enable them to obtain either or both."

    An act of Congress dated May 1812 set aside federal land in the present states of Illinois, Michigan, and Arkansas as compensation to American volunteer soldiers in the War of 1812. Most soldiers or their heirs received 160 acres of these bounty lands, which many sold to speculators. Toned paper; written and signed in bold ink. A few phrases are underlined in red ink.

    Included is an engraved portrait of Polk (8.75" x 11) "From the original painting by Chappel . . . Johnson, Fry, & Co." Lightly toned.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
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